This word can be used in two ways with reverse meanings – actively to defeat i.e. overcome, or passively, to suffer defeat. By His death and resurrection, Christ has defeated Satan and He calls us to actively share in His victory. Christians are not to be continually or permanently defeated; although we may be knocked down sometimes. Is your situation like Paul’s who said, “Hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned…Harassed at every turn with conflict on the outside and fears within. But God comforted us...” (2 Cor 4:8,9, 7:5,6). “But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:57; 2 Cor 2:14; Col 2:13-15). If Satan has won a round, did you try to stand against Him in your own strength? The enemy is more powerful than us (in our flesh), yet when we live obediently to Christ and are walking ‘hand in hand’ with Him we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37). “God placed all things under Christ’s feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body…” (Eph 1:22,23). This doesn’t sound like defeat for us, His children, so declare your victory.
I am on the winning side – Praise God
enforce Satan’s defeat (Mt 10:8, 28:18-20; Mk 16:17; Rev 12:11). If you are down get up, in Christ’s name, and by His power continue in the fight, remembering you are on the winning side and live in submission to Him. Praise God, Satan will soon be completely and eternally defeated (Rev 20:10).
If handled correctly, personal defeat or setback can be a growing time, for through pain, failure and brokenness; God does His finest work of transformation in the lives of His people as we get desperate and genuine in our relationship with Him besides putting in place safeguards of support and accountability. Perceived strengths can be weak areas if we mistakenly think it’s all under control and don’t rely in dependency on His strength (1 Cor 10:12). Jesus did not prevent Peter being tested, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Lk 22:32). Yes God can use broken vessels, those who have fallen. He is the God of second (and multiple) chances. This is the grace of God and what the cross of Christ is all about – restoration after humble repentance. Not that we justify sinful behaviour, or continue to practice it, yet when there is failure there also is redemption (Rom 6:1,2,15; 1 Jn 1:7,9). To varying degrees, we have all fallen and been shattered by sin (Rom 3:10; 1 Jn 1:8). Each of us has been broken by the fall, bringing devastation on ourselves, inflicting failure on others and receiving it from the actions of others. However, the good news is Christ desires to bring us into wholeness, so the poison of the past need not destroy our present or sabotage our future. Out of these experiences God can bring good, if we co-operate with His healing programme who came to heal the broken hearted, bring beauty in the place of ashes, not snuffing out the slightest glimmer of life (Isa 42:3, 61:3). This is why we are to thank God continually, for He can bring good out of all the situations that we experience (Gen 50:20; Ps 34:1; Rom 8:28; 1 Thes 5:18).
We can either deny sin as Saul and Judas did, even though ultimately they reluctantly owned up when confronted with the evidence or confess it, be forgiven and move on like David and Peter (1 Sam 15:1-26; Ps 51:1-17; Mt 26:75, 27:3-5; 2 Cor 7:10). Until the heart is voluntarily opened up, restoration can’t start. Accept forgiveness after seeking it. Sin and failure are a common event in human history. We are sinners ‘being’ saved, so are still targets for Satan (1 Pet 5:8). Seldom do we take our vulnerability or sin seriously enough, because we compare ourselves with those whose sin we grade greater. Yet any sin is sin, and needs repenting of before the blood of Christ can cleanse from the penalty of sin (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7). The consequences still must be borne, as a deterrent and reminder of the vileness of rebellion against God’s ways.
We all have weak vulnerable areas that Satan tries to cause us to fail in, and give up the Christian walk. Don’t look at what is against you but who is for you (Rom 8:31; 1 Jn 4:4). Refuse to be dictated to by circumstances, choose rather to see them as opportunities working for your good (Rom 8:28; Jas 1:2-4). Each day we are defeated in numerous areas – wrong attitudes, less than loving words, actions that would not be what Jesus would do. Although they may not be major issues they are failing to live fully God-honouring lives all the same. These are sins that need to be repented of and hopefully we address these matters so not to repeat them.
Defeat is summed up by words such as: sin, negative, victim, demoralised, doom, crushed, restriction, bondage, I’m powerless. This condition is not for us Christians, so whatever your situation, however trying, turn your eyes to the victory in Christ. Don’t accept defeat on any terms. Jesus died to give us victory. Don't let the devil keep you in bondage and defeat, see who you are in Christ. Because you are a Christian, identify the true perspective and declare into the spirit realm, ‘I am a victor in Christ Jesus who destroyed Satan’ (1 Jn 3:8). It is important to understand our position in Christ.
If we are defeated in our minds, this will most likely eventuate in life so ensure your thoughts and attitudes are wholesome “For as a man thinks within himself, so is he” (Prov 23:7; Rom 12:2; Phil 4:8). The only defeat in our lives should be of the old nature as it yields to our resolve to walk in the victory of Christ and exercise self-control over the bias towards wrong in our lives.
See also: conquer, declare, deliverance, disillusioned, excuse, failure, give-up, overcomer, position in Christ, second chance, spiritual warfare, victory, vulnerable.